Maccabi Northside played North Sydney on Blackman Oval, Killara for round 2 of the Premier League.
Last week North Sydney had been thumped 4:1 by Willoughby Dalleys in the Grand Final replay from last season, so they would be looking for their first win of the season from this match.
As new boys returning to the Premier League, Maccabi Northside had gone down only 1:0 to West Pymble, they would have been full of confidence as they hit the field. I don’t think that confidence lasted very long…
The match was preceded by a minute of silence to show respect to Emin Rufati from St Ives who sadly passed away while playing the game he loved last Saturday. Vale Emin Rufati.
North Sydney took the kick off and immediately had Maccabi Northside under pressure with Michael Watson heading the ball past Maccabi Northside goalie Alexander Gutwirth to score from a corner after only 2 minutes.
And only sixty seconds later Ronan Byrne brought the ball down left wing for Lucas Goode to finish off. Two up in three minutes and the combination of Byrne and Goode that played so well together last season looked like they meant business today.
To prove the point, Byrne scored a third goal off a free kick sixty seconds later. This was not looking good for Maccabi Northside.
When Goode and Byrne worked together to get a fourth goal in under seven minutes you could hear the frustration rising in Maccabi Northside.
North Sydney was playing with good predictive play, passing the ball in to spaces that they knew their players would reach.
There was a huge cross in to the Maccabi 18 yard box was mis-headed by Ryan Edelmuth in to his own goal. Clearly the Maccabi Northside players were rattled.
As an observation, Maccabi Northside players were making their plays and then standing back and watching. That might be the way the game is played in Div 2, but this is the 2014 Grand Final winners they were playing. North Sydney play fast and hard and keep on running; backing each other up once their play is made.
At the back McGregor was barking out order to the North Sydney players, keeping them focussed and bringing them back in to formation.
After a long build up from North Sydney and right on half time Daniel Talbot let rip with a stinging right foot shot in to the back of net making six for North Sydney.
Half time 6:0 to North Sydney.
The second half started slowly with both sides looking tired. North Sydney had the air of a team out for a Sunday stroll and Maccabi needed to keep these beasts under control.
But Maccabi Northside had grown some shoulders during the break and were willing to use them. Their tackles were much more direct and positive and they had become an assertive side. They might not win the match from here, but they were going to keep North Sydney under control.
Maccabi Northside’s Matthew Griffin, Dylan Tooch and Ryan Edelmuth were working hard in the midfield, feeding the ball up and stopping any further rot.
The best chance for Maccabi Northside came from Dylan Tooch who had a good chance on goal but couldn’t get his body round and over the ball fast enough and so the shot went wide. But it was clear that the new boys were going to fight until the end.
That was followed up a few minutes later by a good shot from Stephen Narunsky who had been substituted on late in the game, but his shot skidded just left of the post.
At the end of the match the score was still 6:0 and that meant Maccabi Northside had a creditable second half keeping last years’ Grand Final winners under control. But by then the damage had already been done and North Sydney walk away with a 6:0 win.
That puts Maccabi at two losses from two games and they run out against League Winners Willoughby Dalleys next week.
North Sydney are at home to Lindfield next week which should be a good, tight contest.